Post #1


Hi everyone, I’m Sydney Spotts. I’m a senior and I study Zoology & Environmental Studies. I’m from a tiny town that you’ve never heard of that’s kind of close to OWU. I’m a (newbie) vegetarian and I like to play hide and seek with my dog.

Meadowlands/Trouble with Wilderness:

These two books are interesting to read in combination because they are, in a way, opposites of each other. On the one hand, Cronon discusses our American obsession with a ‘pristine’ wilderness, one that is unscathed and safe from the destructive nature of humans, and our desire to travel to such places of sublimity to ‘get away’ from the harsh hands of civilization. But Sullivan muses on his obsession with the Meadowlands and ponders each and every human activity that has challenged it. In fact, he thoughtfully describes many instances of human interference over the decades in heavy detail, implying that those are the things he thinks about while there. Therefore, it is possible to assume that his fondness for the Meadowlands was in large part because of human interference. Sullivan was not trying to ‘get away from it all’, he was learning to appreciate the nature of ‘nature’ when it collides fiercely with human civilization.

Cronon challenges what is traditionally thought to be ‘natural’ in our world and claims that humans are drawn to those things that we believe have been untouched, but Sullivan—an anomaly—clearly defies this generalization and would probably get a high-five from Cronon.

Project Ideas:

  1. Plan accordingly to ensure a successful May Move-out
  2. Revolutionize recycling on campus to increase participation
  3. Increase efforts to combat the non-normative attitudes toward sustainability in the larger student population in order to increase acceptance/participation of sustainable practices campus-wide

Current Event:

The NASA satellite, SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive), provides an unprecedented level of detailed, worldwide information on the amount of water in the top 2 inches of soil which is collected globally every two to three days. This is important because that thin layer is a key part of the global water cycle over the continents, and also a key factor in the global energy and carbon cycles. Previously, the behavior and dynamics of this reservoir of moisture have been hard to quantify and analyze because measurements have been a slow and laborious process to make, but SMAP makes it much easier and quicker. SMAP was employed in 2015 and its first year of data has now been analyzed and is providing information that will help in the modeling of climate, forecasting of weather, and monitoring of agriculture around the world.

Learn more by following the attached url:

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